By Anthony J. Lockwood
Dear Desktop Engineering Reader:
For years now one of the characteristics about PDM (product data management) systems that bugged me is that they are really designed for the big outfits, which is fine. Good market there. But, just like the huge outfits, small and mid-sized engineering and manufacturing firms have problems managing their data—CAD, bills of material, documentation, whatever. The big difference between the two, however, is resources: IT staff, expertise, and money. Both suffer from grumpy engineers baulking at using a new technology, so I’ll skip that rant.
So, what has happened over the years is that many SMBs have developed these organic processes to track and communicate critical product data. These ad-hoc product data management processes rely on ftp transfers and shared networked folders, and, worst of all, the human memory to operate smoothly. With tighter times to market, new duties such as designers performing upfront analyses, and greater collaboration within and without your organization, this is “rushing” roulette. You’re really one miscommunication or one file being updated by two different engineers simultaneously from an expensive product disaster or missed schedule.
PTC’s Windchill ProductPoint provides as clean, easy to run, and automatic a way as possible to change all this for the SMB. Windchill ProductPoint leverages Microsoft SharePoint, which you probably already have, to create a PDM system with most of the functionality that the big guys can afford, only you do not need all the IT staff, expertise, staff training, and money to install, maintain, and use it.
PTC’s Windchill ProductPoint provides you with version tracking and management, CAD interdependency management, file-based lock-out mechanisms, and improved search tools including thumbnails. It supports multi-CAD environments, and it will create bills of materials automatically. And since PTC’s Windchill ProductPoint leverages SharePoint, it looks and feels like what people are accustomed to using and, most importantly, maintaining. All that means is that you can get an effective and robust PDM that you can rely on, enabling you to take on complex jobs that you once had to cede to your bigger competitors.
Today’s three-page Check It Out PDF explains more about PTC’s Windchill ProductPoint. I know what you’re thinking. “Three pages tells me all I need to know?” Yes and no. No, because I’m certain that once you sit and map out PTC’s Windchill ProductPoint with your unique processes, there’s much more to say. But, definitely, Yes. Three pages gives you the information you need to get going with PTC’s Windchill ProductPoint.
You see, someone once said that the essence of genius is finding the simple answer sitting there right in front of everyone’s face that solves a complex problem. PTC’s Windchill ProductPoint is a complex product with a very simple mission: It can help you solve your complex product data management processes simply. This is a read that you cannot let slip by.
Thanks, Pal. — Lockwood
Anthony J. Lockwood
Editor at Large, Desktop Engineering